Now that Joe Biden has been officially crowned as the new president-elect, the former vice president is going to work to create his administration. Most notably, Biden is working to build his cabinet. The good news is that Biden has decades of political experience and connections to draw on as he builds his team. Here is a look at what may be in store for this crucial staff.
Chief of Staff: The first person that Biden is likely to tap is his chief of staff. This person provides a buffer between the president and the rest of his executive staff. Many of the top officials in Biden’s team will report directly to the chief of staff. On late Wednesday, reports surfaced that Biden was set to name Ron Klain in this powerful position.
This wide breadth of experience makes Klain uniquely qualified for this position. According to officials with the campaign, Klain has accepted the job offer and will be formally announced on Thursday.
Additional Positions to Fill: Biden’s transition team has a lot of work to do in the coming weeks. The team is being head up by former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware, one of Biden’s most trusted confidants. Biden has already stated that his cabinet will represent a diverse cross-section of the country. Because of this, people should look to see a wide array of women and minorities in positions of power.
Look for these announcements to be made in batches over the next few weeks. Names that are being touted for various positions include Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
While this would be the usual time that the naming of the incoming president’s administration would be center stage, Trump’s refusal to concede the election and the drama that surrounds that discussion is what is stealing the headlines this week.
State Department Blocking Biden from World Leaders: Numerous media outlets are reporting that the State Department is blocking Biden from communicating with world leaders in an official capacity. While Biden has personally fielded calls of congratulations from political leaders all over the world, the State Department is allegedly preventing the president-elect from accessing messages going through the official lines of communications.
In the past, it has been common for the State Department to support this global communication. Because of this long history, many of the nation’s allies have been attempting to communicate with Biden through the department. As such, Biden’s team is being forced to reach out to foreign governments on their own, without the support and security traditionally offered by the State Department.
What is ironic is that prior to being named the victor, Biden was allowed to use the services of the State Department operations center to communicate with foreign leaders. This courtesy is provided to former presidents and vice presidents. However, this benefit has been cut off since Biden was elected to the highest office in the land.
In addition, Biden’s team is also not receiving the intelligence briefings typically given to the president-elect during this transitional period. Known as the President’s Daily Brief, both the incoming and outgoing president are usually included in this communication. Including the president-elect helps to ensure a smoother transition on Inauguration Day.
Georgia to Go to a Recount: While it is no surprise to anyone who has been following the close election results in Georgia, on Wednesday it became official that the state would oversee a recount and audit of the votes. The announcement was made by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. According to Raffensperger, all of Georgia’s 159 counties will participate in this recount.
There were almost five million ballots cast in Georgia. Currently, Biden holds a lead of more than 14,000 votes. This margin is within the 0.5% margin of error that can trigger a recount. Raffensperger said that he wants the recount to instill confidence in the legitimacy of the state’s electoral process.
The state has until November 20 to officially certify the election results. While Raffensperger said that the recount will cost a significant amount of money, he is confident that it will be finished in time. Raffensperger was also clear to state that the recount was not done to appease Trump and his allegations of widespread voter fraud.
More COVID-19 in the White House: Another day, another case of COVID-19 announced in the Trump circle. White House political affairs director Brian Jack is also now positive. Earlier in the week, it was revealed that Trump political adviser David Bossie and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson had tested positive for the virus. Like Bossie and Carson, Jack also attended the indoor election night party last Tuesday.